What a star! Emmys honor Robin Williams in moving tribute

Image: Robin Williams
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By Ree Hines

Each year, amid the glitz, glam and golden statuettes of the big night, the Emmy Awards broadcast takes a break from the main celebration to celebrate the famous faces from television who are no longer with us. On Monday night, that memorial segment was particularly moving as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored recently departed actor-comedian Robin Williams.

Williams' longtime friend and "Father's Day" co-star, Billy Crystal, took the stage at Hollywood's Nokia Theatre and spoke about the man who's been missed by millions since his Aug. 11 death.

"He made us laugh hard every time you saw him on television, in movies, nightclubs, arenas … even in a dying girls' living room for her last wish," Crystal recalled. "The relentless energy was kind of thrilling. I used to think if I could put a saddle and stay on for 8 seconds, I was going to do OK."

Crystal went on to share personal anecdotes that brought bittersweet laughs to the audience, but there couldn't have been a dry eye in the house when he compared his pal to a celestial body that's died out, but still stays bright in the sky.

"Their energy long since cooled, but miraculously, because they float in the heavens so far away from us, their beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever," he said. "The glow will be so bright, it will warm your heart. It'll make your eyes glisten, and you'll think to yourselves: Robin Williams, what a concept!"

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Prior to the telecast, Emmy Awards executive producer Don Mischer said the goal was "to do something powerful and memorable" in honor of Williams, and Crystal's words delivered.

While Williams received a special moment of remembrance on Monday night, the annual In Memoriam segment took a brief look back at the other greats who passed over the last year, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple Black, Mickey Rooney, Elaine Stritch, Bob Hoskins and so many more.

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